If you’ve noticed a not-so-pleasant smell coming from your rabbit’s hutch, and part of your normal rabbit care routine is keeping a clean living environment for your bun, then you better check their hind quarters. Your rabbit may be suffering from fecal matter stuck to its behind known simply as “poopy butt rabbits.”
What happened? My cute little rabbit’s rear end is covered in poop. This area of caring for your rabbit is one of the most important steps in this process for two reasons; soiled buns can represent a medical issue that needs to be addressed, and you will find cleaning up after it something you'll want to limit.
2 Reasons for Really Bad Poopy Butt in Rabbits
1. Mechanical Issue
Your rabbit may be obese from a poor diet, lack of exercise or both. Too many treats including fruits, pellets, or starchy vegetables are the usual culprits. A lack of consistent exercise will contribute to obesity as well. Often times simply spending more time playing with your rabbit can fix this issue and provide you with the joy of playing with your friend.
Your rabbit may also be suffering from arthritis, or some other bone or joint related ailment. There is some research to suggest that arthritis can be linked to poor diet as well, especially regarding eating grains. Do not give your bunnies grain, especially highly processed grains.
2. Dietary Problems
Besides being overweight a poor diet can also throw your rabbit’s digestive system out of balance. Can fruit cause poopy butt in a rabbit? Absolutely! A poor diet can cause diarrhea from not having enough fiber, which your rabbit can get from high quality Timothy Hay.
A poor diet can also lead to runny or soft Cecotrophs which will mat into your rabbit’s fur before they can ingest them.
Your rabbit should be given an unlimited supply of fresh Timothy Hay, this is one of the easiest steps in rabbit care. Timothy Hay is high in fiber and all the nutrients your rabbit needs, allowing your rabbit’s digestive health to be maintained. By just adjusting your rabbit’s diet you'll see a significant impact on all of the causes of poopy buns.
What do you do if your rabbit has a poopy butt? Do you leave it alone? Absolutely not!
2 Major Reasons You Need to Clean Poopy Butt Right Now
1. Fly Strike
This a very serious and potentially life threatening condition. Fecal matter attracts flies and insects. When the insect lands on your rabbit they will lay eggs. Once hatched these larvae will not only feed on the fecal matter on your rabbit, but in your rabbit's flesh itself. This can lead to serious infection and death.
2. Sores, Infections and Rashes - Oh My!
Moisture, and acidity from urine right next to your rabbit’s skin will cause inflammation. Your rabbit’s skin is very sensitive so cleaning them up as soon as possible is important.
You are not a bad rabbit owner if your bun has poopy butt. Rabbit poopy butt is a common occurrence for rabbits and can be resolved with proper cleaning. Wondering how to keep your bunny's butt clean? Check our blog on Steps to Keep Your Rabbit's Butt Clean!
To learn more about feeding your rabbit the right kind of hay to help its digestive tract and protect it from poopy butt, download our Hay is for Rabbits eBook below!